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A message from UTSA Vice President of Student Affairs- Dr. Gage E. Paine

Dr. Gage E Paine

Two weekends ago was the San Antonio Rock & Roll Marathon. My Facebook page has been full of success stories from the various crazy, I mean athletic folks who ran either half or full marathons this week. Wears me out to think about it!

A semester of college is a lot like a marathon. There are mile markers that show progress – we call them assignments and tests. It’s necessary to pace oneself – in a marathon and during a semester. Keeping healthy and taking care of oneself is important for runners and students. In a marathon, there are supporters all along the route. Some hand out water, some cheer for everyone who runs by, others make sure participants follow the correct route. For UTSA students, those are faculty, staff and family members.

I’ve never run a marathon, but I know people who have – did I mention I think that’s a crazy idea – and they tell me that even though everyone’s experience is unique, there are stages in the experience that are somewhat predictable. That’s true for students as well. So, I’m willing to predict that your students returned home for Thanksgiving feeling a bit tired. I hope the break was a chance for everyone to take a deep breath, fill up on carbohydrates and get ready for the final stretch, because after Thanksgiving the semester/marathon is a full-out race to the finish line.

Remind the student member of your family that there are resources to assist at every part of the race. Help them evaluate their academic ‘health’ and seek out the support they need. There are people along the raceway who are here to help – but they have to reach out as they run by.

I know we’ll all be cheering UTSA Roadrunners along.

Gage E. Paine

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Study Abroad: How to Help Your Student Before “Bon Voyage!”

The number of students around the country who are choosing to study abroad is at an all-time high, and the trend is picking up at UTSA, too. According to an annual study on study abroad programs, a 3.9% jump in 2010-2011 pushed participation in study abroad programs to a record high of 270,604 students. The most common destinations – Britain, Italy, and Spain – remained the same once again. However, China jumped into the 5th spot with 13,910 students. The survey also indicates that studying abroad is becoming more popular outside the social sciences and business majors. Engineering undergrads reported a 26.7% increase over last year for number of students studying outside the country. At UTSA, hundreds of students choose to study abroad for a semester, summer, or a month-long program. Roadrunners have spanned the globe from Europe and Africa to Asia and Australia. Just this month, UTSA signed an agreement with the University of Siena, Italy’s oldest university dating back to 1240, to offer UTSA students a faculty-led study abroad program titled The Classical World. The collaboration will expose Roadrunners to two of the world’s leading scholars of classics and include trips to Volterra, Pisa, Florence, Tarquinia, Volci, and Rome.

So, what are the important issues to keep in mind while your student decides if and where to study abroad? UTSA Education Abroad Services suggests that students plan their experience early. With proper planning, study abroad trips do not typically delay graduation. The key questions you should ask your student are:

Which program is the best academic fit for you?

How long do you want to be abroad? A semester? A summer? A few weeks or a month?

Although sending your student across seas can seem a little scary, study abroad is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. The support of family and friends will make the experience even more rewarding.

2011 foy pic

Related Links:

UTSA Education Abroad Services– One-stop shop for UTSA students interested in studying abroad

Roadrunners Abroad Blog – Read about the real-life experiences of current and former UTSA students abroad

UTSA signs agreement with the University of Siena – More details on the study abroad experience with the University of Siena

Back on Track – Inside Higher Ed’s article on the national rise of study abroad programs


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UTSA Celebrates Campus Tradition in Best Fest

Thousands of UTSA students, staff, and faculty came out to support student organizations on October 28 during Best Fest, a fall tradition on campus since 1978. Student organizations raised money by selling food, art, and t-shirts while patrons enjoyed live music and dance performances.

Click here to view these and many more pictures from Best Fest.

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UTSA Academy for Teacher Excellence Receives $4.2 Million for STEM Education

The Academy for Teacher Excellence (ATE) in the UTSA College of Education and Human Development was awarded $4.2 million to be distributed over the next five years. The grant from the U.S. Department of Education will be used to increase the number of culturally and linguistically diverse students who want to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at schools with diverse student populations, specifically Latinos and low-income students. The new grant brings ATE's total funding to more than $17 million since it was founded in 2003.

"In order to strengthen the trajectory of Latino and other minority students in the STEM fields, it is important to have well-prepared, culturally efficacious teachers who can engage students using transformative pedagogies," said Belinda Bustos Flores, UTSA professor of interdisciplinary learning and teaching and the study's principal investigator.

Learn more about the $4.2 million grant on UTSA Today.

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Flu Shots Available for Students on Main and Downtown Campuses

Nancy Kudla

UTSA community members can receive flu shots at UTSA Student Health Services on the Main and Downtown campuses. The cost is $10 for students and $15 for faculty and staff members.

The shots are available 9 a.m.-3 pm, Monday-Friday, in Recreation and Wellness Center Room 1.500 at the Main Campus and Buena Vista Street Building Room 1.308 at the Downtown Campus.

Payment can be with UTSACard (with a balance), MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Visa, cash or check. Bring your UTSACard for identification as a student or faculty-staff member. If you use MasterCard, Discover and American Express, there is a small transaction charge.

For more information, call 210-458-4142 (Main Campus) or 210-458-2930 (Downtown Campus).

Article courtesy of UTSA Today.

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President Romo’s Photos in Exhibit, Commemorative Calendar

new family association site

Gallery 23, the art gallery in the University Center on UTSA’s Main Campus, is pleased to welcome the photography of Dr. Ricardo Romo for the first exhibit of the Fall 2011 semester. “Culture/Cultura” features 12 distinct photographs depicting people, places, and art exemplifying the concept of culture around San Antonio and the world.

Arturo Almeida, curator of the UTSA Art Collection, curated both the exhibit and calendar. “Dr. Romo’s work beautifully illuminates what is unique and wonderful about people and cultures around the world,” Almeida said.

As a companion to the exhibit, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs has produced a commemorative calendar of all exhibition photographs. “The images in the exhibit and calendar underscore our Student Affairs vision to be leaders in the development of a dynamic and diverse culture that facilitates learning and engages students,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Gage Paine. “We thank President Romo for collaborating with us to both support art on campus and the Student Affairs Transformation Fund.”

To purchase a “Culture/Cultura” calendar, please contact Brittany Pratt from the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs at 210.458.5119 or brittany.pratt@utsa.edu.
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Family Association Updates

new family association siteEight Campus Programs Awarded Grants through the Family Fund

Through donations from UTSA parents and family members, the Family Fund awarded a total of $13,645 in grants to eight programs across campus. During the 2011-2012 year, the Family Association will support the following projects:

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Upcoming Events & Volunteer Opportunities

Career Center Group Mock Interview – December 1
Is your student concerned about that first professional job interview? Students can get polished and prepared BEFORE they get there! Group Mock Interviews are offered by the University Career Center in partnership with Human Resources Representatives from employers in the San Antonio area. They will practice their interview skills and get expert advice on how to give the best possible interview and increase their chances of landing the job!

Last Day to Drop a Class and Receive a W – December 5
Students who drop classes after this date do not receive an automatic “W”. For more information on this academic policy, please visit the dropping courses section of the Information Bulletin.

Study Days – December 8 & 9
Classes do not meet, allowing students time to study for final exams.

Final Exams – December 10-16

Commencement Ceremonies – December 15 – 17
The recognition of graduates as they walk across the stage by their family, friends, and the UTSA community.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday – January 16

Spring Semester Begins – January 17

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